EAT­ING HABITS OF “EMPTY NESTERS”

201 Health - - College Years -

When the youngest child heads to col­lege, par­ents face a dra­matic change in their dining rit­u­als. Din­ner time is no longer dic­tated by af­ter­school ac­tiv­ity sched­ules. Meals are not cooked based on the needs and ap­petites of picky teens who are fol­low­ing fads or just plain starv­ing af­ter a high-en­ergy sport­ing event. The first trip to the su­per­mar­ket af­ter the teens are gone may be shock­ing be­cause of how few bags you leave with – and sen­ti­men­tal, be­cause you don’t need to buy their fa­vorite foods. Here are some tips to help make the tran­si­tion from cooking for many to just one or two: • Plan meals in ad­vance. You don’t need to re­stock pro­vi­sions as of­ten, so buy just what you need. • Pur­chase smaller sizes of sta­ples like eggs, milk, meats and bread to pre­vent spoilage. If you find a great sale on “fam­ily-size” packs of meat and other per­ish­ables, divide it into smaller por­tions and freeze the rest. • Jumbo packs and por­tions of food sold at ware­house clubs may be a bar­gain when the kids are home for break, but can spoil or ex­pire when they are at col­lege. If you still want to en­joy the sav­ings, ask other empty nester friends if they are in­ter­ested in shar­ing the items and split­ting the cost. • Now is the per­fect time to try new recipes or foods you never brought home be­cause the kids hated them. • Fi­nally, re­mem­ber the fancy restau­rants you avoided be­cause of finicky eaters? Make a reser­va­tion now!

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